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Comp Time

We have an employee that feels after he/she works 40 hours a week that they are required “comp time”.
It is in the employee handbook that this employee is to work a minimum of 36 hours. This employee is on salary. Anything after 40 hours of their working, they feel they should receive comp time.
Is there a labor law that requires giving comp time after working the 40 hours/week, when on “salary”?

No, there is absolutely no requirement under federal law that an exempt employee who works more than 40 hours per week is entitled to comp time.

Under the FairPay regulations of the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer can establish a standard work week for exempt employees. That standard work week can be 36, 40, 50, 80 or 100 hours per week, or any other number. An exempt employee who works less than the standard week can be disciplined or terminated, but is still entitled to his or her full salary for the payroll week. Conversely, an exempt employee who works more than the standard work week is not entitled to additional payment or future time off.

Some employers establish a standard 40 hour work week, and grant comp time to an exempt employee who works more hours in the payroll week. However, the majority of employers simply expect an exempt employee to work whatever it takes to get the job done.

We will say that the statement in your employee handbook, although meant to be a minimum work week of 36 hours, has perhaps created the mistaken impression that you regard 36 hours as a full work week. However, even if that were true, you could require specific employees to work more than 36 hours as the job required and would be under no obligation to grant comp time over 40 hours.

Our best guess is that this employee has worked for an organization that granted comp time in the past. You need to inform him or her of your expectations, and if the employee does not meet those expectations, you should take disciplinary measures.

(Note that for private businesses, it is illegal to grant comp time rather than paying overtime to non-exempt employees.)

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 3:21 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management.
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